Photo of Francesca Arnaudo and Dr. Zwerdling with check donation Cancer survivor Francesca Arnaudo and pediatric cancer specialist Ted Zwerdling accept donation from Hyundai.

UC Davis pediatric cancer patients got a special treat on December 14 when one of Hyundai's "Hope On Wheels" vehicles stopped at the UC Davis Cancer Center. Children were able to put their handprints on the car – representing their own personal triumphs – and a Hyundai representative gave UC Davis a check for $30,000 for pediatric cancer research.

UC Davis Medical Center chief executive officer Ann Madden Rice opened the ceremony by recognizing the pediatric cancer team for its commitment.

"I can't think of a team more deserving of being included in Hyundai's efforts," she said. "They are experts at providing the best possible patient care. And, on top of that, each and every day they make more headway with their research efforts on improved treatments and services for children with all types of malignancies."

Chuck Baccarella, general manager of Maita Hyundai in Sacramento, who gave the donation check to Rice and other cancer center representatives said his company I "feels passionately about helping kids win the fight against pediatric cancer. I know that our contributions will be put to excellent use in your research department, and it's rewarding to know that Hyundai has contributed to the healing process."

After adding their own personal works of art to the vehicle, the children and their families were treated to a special holiday party sponsored by the Sacramento Active 20/30 Club with assistance from the Keaton Raphael Memorial. They enjoyed face painting, dancing to music, crafts and a visit from Santa Claus.

Photo of two children at party Two of the many children who attended the holiday party.

Doris Luna, clinical resource nurse with pediatric hematology and oncology, says is especially rewarding to see her patients having fun.

"It's so easy for children with cancer and their families to feel powerless," she said. "At the party, they can just be kids having a great time with their brothers and sisters like other children during the holiday season."

"Hope On Wheels" is a national effort sponsored by the Hyundai Dealers Association and Hyundai Motor America that raises awareness and contributes funds for pediatric cancer research. Since 2001, Hyundai has contributed more than $8 million to pediatric cancer research. Active 20-30 is a community organization that provides young adults in their twenties and thirties with an opportunity for personal growth and leadership development while improving the quality of life for children.

Pediatric cancer specialists at UC Davis Cancer Center and Children's Hospital diagnose and treat children with leukemia, lymphoma, brain and other solid tumors, neuroblastoma, meduloblastoma, Wilms' tumor, Ewing's sarcoma and other cancers. UC Davis also is the only cancer center in the region that offers bone marrow transplants, a treatment that has evolved over the past 35 years to become a standard treatment for some cancers and blood disorders. The program is the largest and most experienced of its kind in inland Northern California and is the only transplant program in the region affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program, giving UC Davis patients access to potential donors worldwide. For more information, visit